20 Cool Ways to Store Things You Never Thought Of
These storage alternatives will motivate you to get organized.
We understand why you keep so much stuff scattered around your house, car, and office space—because you need easy access to it! Sure, it’s nice to have everything within arm’s reach, but having too much clutter doesn’t make your life easier. You may not realize it, but items are harder to find and the chaos is preventing you from focusing. So, it’s time to get on the Marie Kondo train to decluttering.
The good news is there are ways to make your home (and head) neat and tidy that won’t cost you much, if anything. We found storage alternatives that just require a small amount of money, or things you already have at home that can be repurposed and recycled. With a little bit of elbow grease and a creative approach, you too can get organized.
Pack a pillowcase with a set of sheets.
When it comes time to change the sheets, finding the right pillowcases, flat sheets, and fitted sheets that go together can be a pain. But with a new approach, you can call off the pillowcase search party.
After washing and folding a set of sheets next time, simply store them inside one of the pillowcases in that set. When you need them, they’ll be fresh, tidy, and ready to go.
Contain your condiments.
We all have a bunch of loose bottles, jars, and tubes of condiments and sauces floating around in the back of our fridge that are rarely used. But when we do need them, it’s a nightmare to pull out everything just to get to the single container we need.
If you group your condiments into a few clear office organizing tubs, when it comes time to hunt around for the tahini or curry paste, all you have to do is simply pull out the container and grab what you need. No more rooting around in the back, breaking and spilling bottles everywhere.
Get creative with shelving.
Wire baskets, milk crates, circular hat boxes, and unused drawers can be great alternative shelving options. Whether you have them laying around the house or pick them up at a flea market, simply attach these items to the wall using the bottom side. Artfully arrange them and suddenly, you have a statement wall and new storage.
Use steamer baskets as veggie storage.
Fruits and veggies have specific requirements for storage to ensure they last for their optimum shelf life. Onions, garlic, and shallots, for example, need to be kept in a dry and airy spot.
You know what provides that? Old bamboo rice steamers. You can keep them on your counter or in the pantry for a cool look that works great!
Embrace the Lazy Susan.
Lazy Susans are a home organizer’s dream. They are awesome for a whole host of home storage situations since they make items easily accessible in a variety of spots.
Try using them under your sink for cleaning supplies, in a corner cabinet for spices, or in the fridge for instant access to hard-to-reach food.
Hide wires in a breadbox.
Digital devices are now part of the cooking experience. We all want our phone or tablet handy for quick access to thousands of recipes, techniques, and measuring conversions. But the jumble of cords that comes with them can be an eyesore on the counter.
Try taking an old breadbox and drilling a hole or two in the back for cord access. Then, slip in your devices and now, they’re out of sight but still easily accessible. Seriously, the breadbox charging station will change your cooking life.
Make the most of your magazine holders.
Though you may have said goodbye to many of your magazine subscriptions, you can repurpose magazine holders for a variety of storage solutions.
Turn vintage luggage into a table.
Vintage suitcases look cool, are super affordable at swap meets or flea markets, and they make great storage pieces. You can stack a few together to make a chic nightstand or side table in your living room.
You can also fill them with out-of-season clothes or old cables for electronics and slide them under your bed.
Refurbish old lockers.
Check your flea markets or local online marketplace for old lockers. These utilitarian pieces are great for good-looking storage all around your home.
If you are low on pantry space, refurbish some and put them in the kitchen or basement to hold the essentials. Or, if you need more storage options in the garage, put them up against the wall and fill them with out-of-season equipment.
Use pegboards outside the garage.
Pegboards aren’t just for tools. They’re actually a versatile and inexpensive hanging storage solution that can go in any room in the house—just give it a coat of paint to match.
Turn plastic bottles into makeup holders.
Keeping makeup essentials organized can be a pain. You’ll usually end up rummaging through a dark makeup bag and then tossing your products onto the bathroom counter in an early morning rush.
One easy solution to end the makeup madness is to carefully cut the tops off of colorful plastic bottles and load them up with lipsticks, brushes, and mascara.
Repurpose curtain rings for accessories.
If you are struggling to find good solutions for hanging up your scarves or tank tops, take some shower curtain rings and attach them to the bottom of a hanger or to a towel rack in your closet.
Then just attach whatever long, lanky things you need kept in order to the rings. Now, they are easy to see and easy to access.
Hook up your jeans.
Rifling through a chest of drawers for your favorite pair of jeans can be frustrating, but not anymore if you take this tip from vintage boutiques.
Pick up some big S hooks from your local hardware store and arrange them on a rod in your closet. Hang the belt loops of your favorite jeans and pants onto the hooks and you’ll be able to quickly find your faves.
Corral cutting boards in a drawer.
If you don’t have a dedicated small cabinet space for long and flat things like baking pans and cutting boards, taking everything out to get to the piece you need can be a noisy headache.
All you have to do to stay sane is buy some cheap wire racks and arrange them in a big drawer. The divisions will easily keep your boards and pans organized and readily accessible for your next culinary creation.
Create a cork wall for your jewelry.
To keep jewelry within reach and tangle free, consider buying a large sheet of cork matting.
Simply attach it to a wall—like, behind your closet door, for instance—and use push pins to display and arrange your favorite baubles. For extra fanciness, create a border with ornate picture framing. Your precious jewels will look like a real work of art.
Go high for heels.
A great collection of high heels shouldn’t be relegated to the corner of your closet. Not only does the lack of organization make them hard to find, but no one can appreciate your killer taste in shoes when they are hidden.
Put them on display by horizontally stacking a few rows of crown molding up on a spare wall and then just hook your heels onto the lip for all to admire. It’s décor and storage all in one!
Use hanging fruit baskets for anything but fruit.
Those stainless steel hanging fruit baskets may seem like a thing of the past, but they’re actually a great storage option.
Use them in a crafts room for yarn or thread, in the garage for dog toys, or in your closet for socks and hose. The possibilities are really endless.
Hide your keys like a secret agent.
The conglomeration of keys that most of us have for our cars, sheds, gates, homes, and who-knows-what-else usually ends up jumbled in a junk drawer or spilling out of a bowl by the door.
Keep your keys hidden but still easily accessible by attaching some hinges to a deep picture frame and mounting it near the door. Add hooks behind it and voilà, the clutter is contained and you’ll feel like James Bond when you go to grab keys.
Pack away plastic bags with a plastic bottle.
Wrangling the hordes of plastic bags that you get from shopping can be a pain. But to keep them nicely contained, all you have to do is wait to finish a plastic two-liter bottle.
Cut the top and bottom off the bottle, decorate it if you desire, and mount it upside down inside a cabinet door. Stuff new bags in the top and pull from the bottom whenever needed. A totally recyclable storage solution!
Store pot lids on a hidden curtain rod.
Lids for pots and pans take up a lot of real estate in your cabinets and are a pain to keep in order.
A simple solution? Buy a towel bar or all-in-one curtain rod and mount it inside a cabinet or pantry door. Then, just slide each lid behind the rod, and watch in amazement as the handles keep them in place. This way, your lids are out of sight, but still on hand for cooking action. And if you’re motivated to find more alternative storage solutions, check out 33 Ways to Declutter Your Life (and Keep It That Way!)
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